Tube & Berger will be making their Southern California debut this April, bringing the party vibes with their hybrid Live-DJ set. The duo have mastered the art of crossing genres over collective decades of experience. So pigeonhole them - if you dare - as deep or tech house musicians, but their suprising roots in punk rock will have you analyzing their tracks a little more closely.
Into the AM had the chance to talk with Tube & Berger and came away feeling much wiser about the status of EDM. Read on for the duo’s thoughts on Daft Punk, their next chairty project and Esoteric Tech House.
ITAM: So who is Tube and who is Berger? Or does your name refer to something completely unrelated?
T&B: Arndt, with the curly hair and brown eyes, is Tube and Marco, with the Beatles hair and blue eyes, is Berger. The names Tube and Berger were given to us by our friends when we were teenagers and used to hang out at a lake, smoking weed all day.
When we made our first record, we were looking for a name and everybody said, “You ARE Tube & Berger.”
ITAM: You’re making your debut in LA for Polaroid Thursdays? Does this make you a little nervous?
T&B: Well, yes but in a positive way. At the moment, we play up to 15 gigs a month and being invited to Los Angeles is definitely a highlight! To be honest, we can’t wait to play our set and have a hell of a party with you guys.
Of course there are questions in our heads before every gig. Will people like our music? Will they dance and scream or will they just stand around? Will we party hard or find sleep early? Will the chicks be hot? And so on…
Polaroid Thursdays looks pretty cool though. We’re sure we’ll have a great night.
ITAM: Any really tourist-y things that you guys are looking forward to doing while in Los Angeles? Going to the beach? Disneyland? Etc?
T&B: We had a long winter in Europe so going to the beach is a must! Disneyland will have to wait until next time.
We’d love to take a ride down Mullholland Drive and we hope someone will show us around a little bit. If anyone has some cool ideas of what we should do in LA, just give us a shout on Facebook.
ITAM: What program do you use for mixing: Serato? Traktor? Albelton? Other?
T&B: We play a kind of hybrid Live-DJ set with CDJs and Ableton. We both started on vinyl, but all the digital stuff gives us more possibilities and room to do what we want to do.
ITAM: Your recent hit, “Lovebreak” with Milan Euringer is such a jam! How was producing this track different from your others?
T&B: The production with Milan was absolutely relaxed and we had a good vibe. It has this vibe that makes you feel something. Whatever that is. A wise man once said, “when music is good you feel it” and he was right. We have made some tracks and remixes without feeling them at all, but “Lovebreak” was different from the start.
ITAM: Your bio says that you were both in punk bands, was it the same band?
T&B: Yes. We were so into punk and tried very hard to be as fucked up as possible. Berger played drums and Tube played guitar and bass. It was pretty noisy and often not even in tune, but it was great fun.
ITAM: What was it called?
T&B: One band was called Toxic Teens [laughs], but we changed our name a few times. Some very weird German names as far as we can remember, Mitteldicht, Skeechler, Hirschenköpfe.
ITAM: How have your punk band roots contributed to your deep, tech house sound?
T&B: We still use “real” instruments for our production and we like trashy guitar or samples that have a little punk in them. Some people say that we still have a certain punk attitude and some even say they can hear a bit of punk in our music.
ITAM: What other music style do you think fans would be shocked to know that you listen to?
T&B: We listen to a lot of classical music in the car. It is very relaxing and we’re becoming fans of it more and more. Also, film music is great. Clint Mansell for example is a genius. His music is truly mind blowing in our eyes…and ears.
ITAM: Do you follow any of the trend genres, like moombahton or trap? If so, have you sought to integrate any of these elements into your style?
T&B: Sometimes we have the feeling that new trends appear within minutes and a few weeks later everybody gets bored of them because they get hyped so much. But, of course, it’s better to have new trends than just repeating the old stuff over and over again.
ITAM: Have you ever thought of doing another charity project like your “It Began in Africa” campaign?
T&B: We wanna do a third compilation for ”It Began In Africa” next year and we plan to sign new songs from the African Children’s Choir. For the third and final compilation, we will ask some of the biggest names in the scene. Not sure if Fatboy Slim or The Chemical Brothers will be on board yet.
ITAM: What do you think about the recent revival of deep house in the EDM circuit? A lot of veterans feel that new kids to the scene are just trend seeking hipsters rather than true music fans.
T&B: I wouldn’t call it a revival. What people call “Deep House” these days is pretty different from what those oldschool veterans play. We totally agree with Steve Bug, who says that there is no deep house and we don’t think our music is deep at all. Maybe it should be called hipster music. A new genre is born.
But seriously, deep house is all about hype at the moment. When minimal was the shit, we didn’t feel it and couldn’t produce it. After years of monotonia - melodies and “music” came back into EDM. Hooks, vocals and riffs were replaced by clicks and clacks and we felt at home again.
We started with punk rock, we played electro, techno, house and even trance and we listen to classical music in the car, but in the end - it’s just names, hypes and trends. If the music is good we don’t need names for it, do we? You could call our music Esoteric Tech or Hippie House. We see this as a journey into sound with no limits or boundaries. The only sure thing is that we will change our sound again and again.
ITAM: When you broke onto the electronic music scene, Beatport was in its infancy and Soundcloud and Mixcloud did not exist. Now that all three are leading platforms in the distribution of electronic music. Can you talk about how you have adapted to a world of music that is now largely internet based?
T&B: There are always two sides of the story. You can use social media and stuff like this to promote your music, your label or your new haircut. You can connect to people and fans all over the world and you can spend hours staring at other peoples profiles. But the side we don’t like is that every manager or agent will tell you that you have to join the latest sound/mix/face/cloud or whatever.
For an artist in 2013, social media means you have a minimum of 8 profiles you need to work on. And for some people, it’s more important to post funny space cats or hip triangle graphics than making music. We’re happy that our team at Kittball Records helps us deal with the daily social media madness.
ITAM: I have to ask this because almost everyone has an opinion. With all of the hype surrounding Daft Punk, do you think their release could be the boost that the electronic music scene needs?
T&B: Daft Punk changed everything with their album “Homework” and we totally fell in love with dance music because of them in 1996. We both can’t wait to hear the album, see the videos and have that unique Daft Punk feeling again. There’s too much plastic music with no soul out there.
Random Access Memories will be a high class product and we’re sure it will set standards. Counting the days…
ITAM: If you could collaborate with any artist or musician who would it be and why?
T&B: There are a few. For example, Mike Skinner (The Streets) His lyrics, his voice, his style and his accent are just brilliant. It would be cool to check out some producer tricks of Pharell Williams or Timbaland. Working with Depeche Mode sounds like heaven. We’d also love to go mental with Mike Patten (Faith No More), who is truly one of the greatest rock & roll frontmen.
And before we forget it. If THE KLF ever reunites - call us! We can help you with Sharon Joints The Jams.
ITAM: What’s up next for Tube & Berger? Any new releases or label plans for Kittball Records?
T&B: There’s a lot of touring going on, but us T&B Hobbits never sleep and we just finished a remix for Pirupa. At the moment, we’re also working on another remix for our Spanish buddies Coyu & Edu Imbernon and our third remix for Jerome Robins and Rashid Ajami was just released on Kittball.
We decided to start working on our new album at the end of this year, and right now, we’re helping our label manager Juliet Sikora with her first album.
CATCH TUBE & BERGER AT:
Polaroid Thursdays @ Couture in LA | April 18 | 21+ | TICKETS